Ed Driscoll

The Progressive Mobius Loop

Norman Podhoretz writes, “Six years after 9/11, it’s notable how little the politics of the left have changed.”

Wihen the far left locked the Wayback Machine into a mobius loop dated 1972, it’s not surprising that their worldview is remarkably fixed in place, despite apparently now preferring the “progressive” sobriquet these days.

I had actually read the last paragraph of this excerpt from Podhoretz before (I seem to recall David Horowitz quoting it in Radical Son), but it’s worth repeating, if only for the punchline:

Having broken ranks with the left in the late ’60s precisely because I was repelled by the “negative faith in America the ugly” that had come to pervade it, I naturally welcomed this new patriotic mood with open arms. It seemed to me a sign of greater intellectual sanity and moral health, and I fervently hoped that it would last.

But I could not fully share the heady confidence of my younger political friends that the change was permanent, and that nothing in American politics and American culture would ever be the same again. As a veteran of the political and cultural wars of the ’60s, I knew from my own scars that no matter how small and insignificant a group the anti-Americans of the left might for the moment look to the naked eye, they had it in them to rise and grow again.

In this connection, I was haunted by one memory in particular. It was of an evening in the year 1960, when I went to address a meeting of left-wing radicals on a subject that had then barely begun to show the whites of its eyes: the possibility of American military involvement in a faraway place called Vietnam and the need to begin mobilizing opposition to it. Accompanying me that evening was the late Marion Magid, a member of my staff at Commentary, of which I had recently become the editor. As we entered the drafty old hall on Union Square in Manhattan, Marion surveyed the 50 or so people in the audience and whispered to me: “Do you realize that every young person in this room is a tragedy to some family or other?”

Read the whole thing, as they say on the other side of the mobius loop.